There’re more: Pachar also installed a cow dung gas plant using indigenous technology, benefiting 20 houses in her village. She further helps other women by imparting knowledge of innovations in farming.

From the desert areas of Rajasthan to the tribal belt, women aren’t just participating in the agriculture sector but also doing well for themselves. Speaking to 101reporters, Jayesh Joshi, Secretary of the Vagdhara Sansthan, said: “There are 3.60 crore women involved in agricultural work. Women are promoting organic farming, and community-based activities are raising awareness to take this further and see the launch of more startups. Many women are also employed in the food processing sector. In the tribal area of ​​Banswara, we’ve developed nurseries that are run by women.”

Taking over orchards

Santosh Khedar, also from Sikar district, is a master in pomegranate cultivation. It all started when her husband worked as a home guard and saw a pomegranate tree while on duty. He got the idea of ​​planting a pomegranate garden and shared it with his wife, who readily agreed. She managed to collect money from various sources to install a tubewell in her garden and spent three years irrigating it until her first yield of pomegranate.

“I did not know how much money I’d get, but eventually, the hard work paid off and I doubled our income,” Khedar proudly told 101Reporters.

“We made a profit of Rs 3 lakh, which we used to first pay our loans, before planting new crops. We also began planting lemon, guava and apple saplings in the empty spaces between the pomegranate trees. The experiment was successful and our profits crossed Rs 10 lakh annually.”

Today, Khedar also runs a nursery, selling pomegranate, lemon, apple, Kinnow oranges and mango saplings to other farmers. Through horticulture, the family now earns an annual income of Rs 25 to 30 lakh.

Interestingly, both Prachar and Khedar’s husbands were involved in traditional farming earlier. Their earnings, however, were meagre in comparison, with crops often failing and leading to mounting debts.

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